Can Obama turn it around?

SMU Political Scientist Cal Jillson talks about whether President Obama can recover and go on to win a second term.

By Linda Feldmann
Staff Writer 

Sometimes in politics, style matters as much as substance. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has shot to the top of the Republican presidential field as much on his charisma as on his record.

So, too, a feistier, more aggressive President Obama has emerged since Labor Day, as he makes the case for new spending to promote job creation and tax increases to pay for it. Gone are the compromises he was willing to make in July over cuts to Social Security. And when he unveils his deficit reduction plan on Monday, he is expected to propose tax hikes on millionaires – a populist gambit that will at least satisfy his Democratic base.

But will campaigning enthusiastically for a plan that faces dim prospects in a Republican-controlled Congress be enough to save his presidency? . . .

“Obama is looking very vulnerable at this point, as many presidents who lose momentum do a year or more before the election,” says Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. But once the Republicans choose their nominee, he adds, “I think Democrats come home and Obama buoys up a little bit.”

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